Zirconium uses and application areas

Since ancient times, zirconium has been used as a gemstone because of its rich and colorful colors, playing a decorative role in human life. As people's understanding of zirconium continues to deepen, its applications are becoming more and more widespread. Perhaps most people are unfamiliar with zirconium, but it has penetrated into every aspect of our lives. For example, zirconium is indispensable in various surrounding buildings, ceramics, knives, decorations, etc. that are essential in life, and even in the military and nuclear power fields.

Zirconium products are rich in variety and in various forms. The initial mineral form is zircon sand. After treatment with caustic soda, water washing, etc., primary products such as zirconium silicate and zirconium oxychloride can be produced. With continued calcination, chlorination, and reduction, secondary products can also be produced. Zirconia, industrial grade zirconium sponge and other products; if the purification and separation technology reaches a certain level, nuclear energy grade zirconium sponge can be made.

Zirconium has a wide range of applications. It is mainly used in ceramics, refractory materials and other fields in the form of zirconium silicate and zirconium oxide. Only 3%-4% of zirconium ores are processed into metallic zirconium (or zirconium sponge), and then further processed into various zirconium materials. Because metallic zirconium has a small thermal neutron absorption cross-section, metallic zirconium has excellent nuclear properties. Nuclear-grade zirconium uses this characteristic to be used as structural materials and uranium fuel elements for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and civilian power generation reactors. Encasing etc. Nuclear-grade zirconium can be regarded as an important strategic metal for the country and is closely related to the development of the nuclear industry.

As an active metal, zirconium forms an oxide film at room temperature. This oxide film gives zirconium and its alloys excellent corrosion resistance. At the same time, zirconium has good mechanical and heat transfer properties, coupled with significant cost advantages, making it an excellent corrosion-resistant structural material in today's petrochemical industry.

The zirconium used in chemical acid and alkali resistant equipment, military industry, and electronics industry is called industrial grade zirconium. In terms of ease of processing, technological level and scientific and technological content, zirconium metal and its alloy products are at the top of the industrial chain.